Global 0.5 deg hourly land surface air temperature datasets from 1948-2009

Submitted by xubin on Fri, 08/30/2013 - 16:50

Land surface air temperature (SAT) is one of the most important variables in weather and climate studies, and its diurnal cycle and day-to-day variation are also needed for a variety of applications. Global long-term hourly SAT observational data, however, do not exist. While such hourly products could be obtained from global reanalyses, they are strongly affected by model parameterizations and hence are found to be unrealistic in representing the SAT diurnal cycle (even after the monthly mean bias correction) (see Figure below; left panels: SAT anomalies; right panels: SAT differences between reanalyses and CRU).

Global hourly 0.5-degree SAT datasets are developed here based on four reanalysis products [MERRA (1979-2009), ERA-40 (1958-2001), ERA-Interim (1979-2009), and NCEP/NCAR (1948-2009)] and the CRU TS3.10 data for 1948-2009. Our three-step adjustments include the spatial downscaling to 0.5-degree grid cells, the temporal interpolation from 6-hourly (in ERA-40 and NCEP/NCAR) to hourly using the MERRA hourly SAT climatology for each day (and the linear interpolation from 3-hourly in ERA-Interim to hourly), and the mean bias correction in both monthly mean maximum and minimum SAT using the CRU data.

The final products have exactly the same monthly maximum and minimum SAT as the CRU data, and perform well in comparison with in situ hourly measurements over six sites and with a regional daily SAT dataset over Europe. They agree with each other much better than the original reanalyses, and the spurious SAT jumps of reanalyses over some regions are also substantially eliminated. One of the uncertainties in our final products can be quantified by their differences in the true monthly mean (using 24 hourly values) and the monthly averaged diurnal cycle. The datasets will be available to the community in late 2013.

The paper is available at:

Data Access DS193.0: NCAR

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